Venezuela's oil exports last month fell to the lowest level since October 2020 as repairs at the country's main oil port added to delays shipping cargoes, documents from state-run PDVSA and vessel tracking data showed.
Exports from the U.S.-sanctioned country were recovering this year following a pact with Iran that provided a stable supply of diluents needed for producing exportable grades and lighter crudes for making refined products.
But shipping delays linked to oil quality issues, port maintenance that shut Jose port's two largest berths, and slower authorizations for vessels to set sail reversed the trend last month, the documents and data showed.
Two of PDVSA's four upgraders, which turn its extra heavy crude into exportable grades, also were temporarily shut due to outages since April, the documents showed.
PDVSA, its joint ventures and other state companies shipped a total of 21 cargoes in May, carrying an average of 391,452 barrels per day (bpd) of crude and fuel, a 49%-fall from April and 34% below exports of the same month last year.
Most cargoes headed to Asia, while allies of President Nicolas Maduro's administration, including Iran and Cuba, also received Venezuelan crude and fuel.
The May exports included 103,500 bpd of fuel oil to Asia and the Middle East. Venezuela also shipped about 135,000 metric tonnes of petroleum coke and methanol, below the 242,000 tonnes of the previous month.
(Reporting by Marianna Parraga in Houston and Mircely Gianipa in Punto Fijo, Venezuela; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)